A Wonderful Whirlwind of a Day in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

Continuing to be the wonderful hosts that they are, Teri and Grey had a fantastic full day planned for us the following day. We started off on a hike along the Presque Isle River in the Porcupine Mountains, walking down towards where it empties into Lake Superior. On the beach Teri and I rock hunted, Tom and Grey explored, we all chatted, and the three dogs ran around like dogs. We then walked upriver, joining the West River Trail which parallels the water and leads through lush, old-growth forest. The trail offered easy access to the river bed at multiple points so we all wandered out to view the incredible ledges and layered shale. The latter provided steps of a sort that the river flowed over in a most beautiful fashion on it’s descent to the lake. Continuing on the trail we passed three incredible waterfalls – Manabezho, Manido, and Nawadaha – while enjoying the hike amongst the tall maples and hemlocks.

Presque Isle River, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Presque Isle River, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Presque Isle River, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Presque Isle River, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Presque Isle River, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Presque Isle River, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Presque Isle River, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Presque Isle River, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Mouth of the Presque Isle River, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Mouth of the Presque Isle River, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Teri and I looking for rocks on Lake Superior shore, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Teri and I looking for rocks on Lake Superior shore, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Grey hiking near mouth of Presque Isle River, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Grey hiking near mouth of Presque Isle River, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Me walking on driftwood near mouth of Presque Isle River, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Me walking on driftwood near mouth of Presque Isle River, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Old growth along the sun-dappled trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Old growth along the sun-dappled trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Tom taking photos, West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Tom taking photos, West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Manabezho Falls, West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Manabezho Falls, West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Manido Falls, West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Manido Falls, West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Manido Falls, West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Manido Falls, West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Manido Falls, West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Manido Falls, West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Tom and Grey hiking the West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Tom and Grey hiking the West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Nawadaha Falls, West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Nawadaha Falls, West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Carvings on bench along West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Carvings on bench along West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Teri's zen rock stack, West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Teri’s zen rock stack, West River Trail, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Grey and Teri then drove us to the Summit Peak area where we walked the short trail up to Summit Peak. At 1,958 feet, it’s the highest peak in the Porcupine Mountains and offers fantastic views from the observation tower. Lake of the Clouds – perhaps the most famous spot in the Porkies – was the next stop. From the top of the escarpment we had an incredible view of the mile-long lake and the Big Carp River which feeds it. Finally, we ended our adventures walking along the beach near the town of Silver City, just outside the state park.

It would have been a fantastic day by any measure, but it was all the more special to me because it was my birthday. I have had some really great birthdays the past couple years, celebrating with Carrie in Yellowstone two years ago and with Mary on Block Island last year, but this year rivaled them both due to the great company and the beautiful hikes.

View from tower at Summit Peak Scenic Area, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

View from tower at Summit Peak Scenic Area, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Looking down from tower on Summit Peak Scenic Area, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Looking down from tower on Summit Peak Scenic Area, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Lake of the Clouds, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Lake of the Clouds, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Grey, Teri, Me, and Tom (and Gabby, Missy, and Abby), Lake of the Clouds, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Grey, Teri, Me, and Tom (and Gabby, Missy, and Abby), Lake of the Clouds, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Lake of the Clouds, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Lake of the Clouds, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Lake of the Clouds Overlook, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Lake of the Clouds Overlook, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Missy and Gabby cooling off in Lake Superior near Silver City, Michigan

Missy and Gabby cooling off in Lake Superior near Silver City, Michigan

Grey and Tom standing in Lake Superior near Silver City, Michigan

Grey and Tom standing in Lake Superior near Silver City, Michigan

     

Lastly, as a side note, I’m doing some blog updates and maintenance with regards to layout, content, and navigation so please bear with me if anything seems wonky. And if something isn’t working, please let me know! You can reach me most easily by leaving a comment. Actually, if you have any feedback good or bad (especially if it’s bad), I’d love to hear from you. I will be making more changes over the next few days but will then finish in a few weeks after I return from exploring some canyons near Escalante, Utah.

Nothing I’m doing should impact the way you receive your blog feed (via a reader or directly through email) but I recently started reading blogs using Bloglovin’s reader so I thought I’d add my blog in case you’d prefer to read it that way:

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Thanks!

-Meghan